Ha Ha Clinton-Dix says he didn't skip OTAs for new contract

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix's return for the Green Bay Packers' mandatory minicamp gave him the chance to dispel the notion that he skipped the OTAs because he wants a new contract. He did that -- with a wink.

The former Pro Bowl safety said Tuesday that he stayed at home because of a family issue -- the death of his godmother. But when asked if that was the only reason, Clinton-Dix winked.

He's entering the final year of his rookie deal; he's in the fifth-year -- an option that the Packers exercised -- and will make $5.957 million this season.

His godmother, Alisa Dorsett, died last month after she suffered a heart attack while in Alabama for Clinton-Dix's college graduation. He received his degree in criminal justice four years after he entered the NFL draft. Dorsett was an administrator at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, where Clinton-Dix attended.

"I guess she was excited to see me graduate; just had a heart attack," Clinton-Dix said. "It's a challenge at times. But, you know, my family means everything to me. I don't know how close you guys are with your family, but my family means everything to me. If I have the opportunity to be home with them, I would love to be home with them. The opportunity came, so I just relaxed at home, caught up on some sleep, just spent my time around my family."

Clinton-Dix did not have a workout bonus in his contract and indicated that if he did, he might have come to OTAs. The minicamp is the only mandatory session of the offseason, although coach Mike McCarthy excused veterans who were entering at least their sixth NFL season.

"I had a lot of freedom," Clinton-Dix said. "It's not meant for me to be here, I don't have a [workout] bonus to be here, so that definitely played a big role in me not being here, honestly, along with my godmother not making it. It's kind of like, I can just stay home with my family and enjoy my family time while I have the downtime. When the season kicks off, it's just me up here. That's life. S--- goes on from time to time, but I'm excited not to have that bonus in there, though, honestly, because I would have definitely been here for my money.

"You can't buy time. So just to have that freedom to be able to get away. I think that was a plus not having it, honestly."

Clinton-Dix said that while he was away during OTAs, he watched practice video on his iPad and could contact members of the coaching staff if he had questions.

Clinton-Dix said he wouldn't follow the lead of Kam Chancellor, the Seahawks safety who held out in 2015.

"What would holding out do?" Clinton-Dix said. "Kam's not me. He's nowhere near me. You're just wasting your time, really. You're getting fined and fined and fined. I'm a guy that I need my money, man. That's why I'm here now. I need my money."

Clinton-Dix made the Pro Bowl in 2016 but didn't match that production last season, when the Packers defense struggled and coordinator Dom Capers was fired. Still, Clinton-Dix is expected to be one of the cornerstones of new coordinator Mike Pettine's defense.

"I feel really good [with] Ha Ha all the way through," McCarthy said. "We've had change, we've transitioned through that. We're really coming to the end of the offseason where communication's been tight, it's been good.